Condor Agio Tiagra  £999.00

9/10

Superb all-rounder that is so much more than the sum of its parts

Weight 9880g   Contact  www.condorcycles.co.uk

by Stuart Kerton   August 11, 2009  

The Condor Agio is the perfect all rounder, part of the touring and audax line up in Condor’s brochure it’s also capable of so much more. This Shimano Tiagra equipped test bike comes in a penny under the £1000 limit on most cycle to work schemes and therefore makes it very attractive to the year round commuter, coming with full length mudguards and rack mounts it can be used in all weathers.

 The frame is constructed from Fire 7003 aluminium with Dedacciai Fire carbon seat stays. As you would expect from Condor it is very well finishedl with smooth welds and a subtle yet classy dark grey paint finish. The carbon stays plug in to the frame just behind the seat stays and down to the dropouts with a nice tidy finish around the joints. Whether they do add to the comfort, it’s hard to tell but the frame does give a comfortable, almost steel like ride.

With the frame weighing around 1500g and a fork weight of 580g it’s no lightweight but somehow it seems to feel lighter than it is. Sure, the acceleration is blunted but once up to speed it performs more like a race bike than a tourer.

Geometry on this 55cm model is pretty standard stuff, top tube c-c 54.5cm, head tube length of 17.5cm with an angle of 73.5˚. Steering wise it’s very surefooted even at speeds above 40mph with just a touch of understeer coming through if you really push it but even this is corrected by just a slight shift in body weight.

The carbon fibre Black Rain fork is also manufactured by Dedacciai, complete with carbon steerer on all sizes apart from the 61 & 64cm which has the same fork but with an alloy steerer. No flex was felt though the fork even when sprinting out of the saddle. There is also plenty of room to run mudguards and 28c tyres though the legs.

In terms of finishing kit the Agio is sensibly specced, nothing to flash but everything getting the job done. The Tiagra shifting is a little vague at the lever but at the rear mech the changes are faultless. The Shimano 50/34 compact chainset married to 9spd 12/25 cassette gives a good spread of gears to get you over pretty much any terrain you might encounter. Handlebars and stem also come from Deda, oversize 31.8mm diameter with good stiffness.

Whic brings me to the only thing I disliked about the whole bike – the bar tape. It looks smart in a light grey embossed with the Condor logo but for all the comfort it gives you might as well use Sellotape. With such a stiff front end some gel pads under the tape would make a huge difference especially if you’re riding audax’s or sportives.

The Shimano R500 wheels did impress, at only around 80 quid a set they ride like much more expensive wheels. They stayed true over the 800 miles of testing I put them through and paired with Vitorria Rubino 28c tyres they rolled quickly and comfortably. Also looking more expensive than they are they finished off the overall classy look of the bike. Braking was again taken care of by Tiagra, although good at stopping the bike quickly there is no modulation between on and off which takes a bit of getting used to on long tricky descents.

The majority of testing was done on my 34 mile round commute which it excelled at, but come the weekend and it would still be the Condor I’d grab out of the shed for a 3 hour training ride unless it was out and out speed I was after. It’s do everything attitude and ease with which it can be ridden makes it perfect for every ride.

Verdict

It certainly lived up to my expectations and then some. Its comfortable sure footed ride is a revelation on long rides but then if you need it you can put the power down and it changes into a completley different bike easily being flung into roundabouts flat out. No matter how big your budget the Agio should definitely be on your shortlist.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Condor Agio Tiagra

Size tested: 54cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame: Fire 7003 aluminium alloy with Deda Fire carbon fibre seat stays.

Fork: carbon fibre Deda Black Rain with carbon steerer (alloy steerer on 61 & 64cm frame sizes)

Handlebars: Deda Big Piego bars

Stem: Deda Big Logo stem

Brakes-controls-mechs: Tiagra shifters, brakes, front & rear mechs.

Chainset: Shimano 50/34 compact chainset

Bottom bracket: Shimano

Cassette: Shimano 12/25 cassette

Saddle: Condor saddle & aluminium seatpost

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

The Agio is in the touring & audax line up in Condor's brochure, Condor says - 'The Agio delivers all season comfort as a city bike but its racy roots still show. Lively handling, mudguards and a pannier rack mean that anything from fast commutes to light touring is possible'

I think Condor have fulfilled their design brief, it is certainly a Jack of all trades and a master of them all.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Build quality and finish are both excellent. Smooth welds and a lovely dark grey paint spec give a beautiful looking machine. It isn't the lightest though

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Variable throughout the frame sizes, the 55cm tested has a 73.5 degree head and seat tube giving a comfortable but responsive ride.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Fairly standard stuff, a 54.5cm top tube c-c and a 55cm seat tube c-t.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Apart from the thin bar tape the ride was very comfortable, feeling solid and planted the ride feels like that of a steel bike. The Condor seat was perfectly acceptable for rides up to 3-4 hours when its stiffness started to become evident.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

The bike is very stiff but not so much that it gives the rider a battering. power transfer isn't wasted and the stiffness makes for a compitent descender.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Even with the 700x25 tyres all the power goes straight to the rear wheel. acceleration is slightly muted due to the weight of the bike but once up to speed it is easy to keep it rolling.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

None noticed

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral, only really noticed carving your way through traffic

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The steering weighted up nicely as the speed increased making for great descending. a touch of understeer was noticable but only when you are right on the limit of the tyres.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The tyres are good at absorbing the road buzz while still having good rolling resistance. The fork and seat stays do their bit before reaching the contact points which is good as the cockpit is super stiff.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

No flex felt anywhere even when pulling on the bars climbing. The bars and stem being so stiff are great for feeling exactly what the bike is doing underneath you.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The stiff frame keeps everything in check. If you were to change to a lighter set of wheels and tyres it would make a lot of difference to acceleration but then you would be loosing the all rounder ability of the bike.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
6/10

not really what it's designed for but it still has a good turn of speed

Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
10/10

descends as good as a race bike

Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10

brilliant in traffic

Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10

tracks brilliantly

Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
9/10

The tyres start to break traction way before the frame or fork does

Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

Weight is an issue balanced out by the compact gearing

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10

Spend the extra £100 and get Campag or Sram

Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Everything works well together although if it was my money I might be tempted by the £1099.99 Campag Veloce or Sram Rival

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
9/10

For the cost of the wheels they roll well and so do the tyres.

Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
10/10

Wheels stayed true during testing and no cuts in the tyres showing

Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10

Noticable under acceleration but thats the only time

Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

I'd be happy to keep the wheels and tyres for commuting as they are perfectly acceptable. Maybe a nice lighweight handbuilt set for audax or sportives.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
6/10

Front mech shifter seized during testing

Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

No modulation on the brakes can make quick descending a little sketchy. Tiagra do come with spacers to make the levers come closer to the bars so would benefit smaller hands.

Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)

All the components do their job well. If it was mine it'd be the first £1000 bike I'd be happy to ride straight out of the box

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

When you take into account the build quality, handling and spec of the bike its very hard to find fault. It's obvious after riding the Agio how Condor have gained their reputation for building great bikes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Schwinn Fastback Pro  My best bike is: Dolan Chrono TT Custom

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, no

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